Whale Tail Skirts Are The Latest '90s Style Making An Epic Comeback

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To think we were worried about low-rise jeans coming back! Those of us who were around in the '90s and early 2000s remember that the whale tail was among the many side effects of the low-rise trend. This was when your pants were so low that they exposed your thong when you sat down. What surely started as a somewhat unfortunate inevitability of wearing underwear underneath very low-rise pants quickly became a trend all on its own, and many it-girls sported a thong that was meant to be seen, with celebrities even walking red carpets with exposed underwear.

These days, low rise has certainly made a triumphant return, so it's no surprise that the whale tail was quick to follow. Yet, these days, the trend is slightly different. Fashion expert Emily Kirkpatrick told InStyle, "When this trend first came around in the early aughts, this look was all about making the exposed strap look incidental, like it was a wardrobe malfunction rather than a considered styling choice." She added, "In this current iteration of the trend, that pretense has been dropped entirely... Celebrities are wearing a lot of clothes that have the G-string already built into the garment, and thongs that are bedazzled or adorned in a way that makes it clear they're an integral part of the outfit — not just an afterthought." As for the best way to make this trend your own, there's more than one option to get that whale tail look.

Try a matching set

Matching sets are popular for the warmer months, and they're a perfect way to incorporate that whale tail style into your 'fit. Because this skirt style requires you to show a very particular, normally covered-up area of your torso, a monochromatic ensemble can transform this look into a put-together, cohesive outfit. Keep in mind that for a skirt and top outfit that looks like a matching set, you don't actually have to purchase a matching set; just make sure you've got a top in the same shade as your whale tail skirt for a perfect marriage of trends.

Pair it with a crop top

To leave your lower belly exposed with attention on your skirt's whale tail detailing, a crop top is the easiest way to style the trendy piece and let its shape shine. From extreme cropped long-sleeve t-shirts to popular cropped cardigans, there are plenty of on-trend ways to get this silhouette. For a summer night out, this easy whale tail mini skirt that comes in plenty of colors would look adorable with a simple, boxy cropped tee or a bold cropped tank top.

DIY if you dare

It's important to note that you don't actually have to invest in this very specific clothing item to get the whale tail skirt look. You can DIY with any low-rise skirt you have –– especially considering that this is how this trend originated in the first place. Layer a thong underneath your low-rise skirt, and make sure that the sides are pulled up over your hips and visible at all times. Matching your underwear and skirt will make it look more like a whale tail skirt, but you can also mix and match colors for a bolder look.

Layer your whale tails

If you can't get enough of this look, you might want to double the nostalgic fun. It's easy to add the whale tail look to your skirt with an actual pair of underwear. So, why not layer a pair under a whale tail skirt? This adds texture and pop, and there's no way the trend will go unnoticed. Layering different colors also allows you to build different outfits with just one skirt. This heart-detailed mini skirt paired with black tights and a pop of color thong underneath is our Y2K dream outfit come true with an updated, unique twist.

Opt to show less skin

Whale tail skirts may seem like a trend made entirely for those of us who want to show quite a bit of skin. This is true to the extent that you simply can't rock a whale tail skirt without having a bit of your midriff exposed, but that doesn't mean that extra exposed whale tail looks should make you shy away from the trend. This adorable, fashion-forward ensemble pairs a long sleeve tee with a midi-length and styles it with the edgy heavy boot trend, proving that whale tail skirts can be covered up, too.